A Nerd Girl's Perspective

My Thoughts on News, Politics, Food, Crafting, Geek Culture, Sociology, and Much More —— Courtney C Horne

Tag: louisiana

Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part VIII

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This entry covers: HB413, HB451, HB461, HB469, HB491, HB494, HB499, and HB501

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Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part VII

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This entry covers: HB305, HB313, HB321, HB325, HB328, HB332, HB335, HB348, HB356, HB369, HB382, HB385, HB388

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Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part VI

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This entry covers: SB201, SB209, SB237, SB245, SB250, SB 275, SB 292

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Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part V

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This entry covers: HB203, HB208, HB217, HB240, HB247, HB261, HB268, HB283, HB290

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Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part IV

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This post covers: HB103, HB108, HB121, HB124, HB129, HB148, HB172, HB174, HB187, HB199

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Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part III

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This entry covers: SB107, SB115, SB123, SB144, SB151, SB160, SB164, SB175, SB187, SB200

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Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part II

This is part of my ongoing effort to highlight and provide brief summaries of  legislative items in the 2014 session. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

This entry covers HB10, HB12, HB13, HB14, HB20, HB38, HB71, HB72, HB96, and HB101.

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Louisiana 2014 Legislative Session: Items to Watch Part I

Instead of bulk summarizing like I did last session, I will be featuring bills and resolutions that I am going to be keeping an eye on and provide brief summaries of those items. If you have an item you would suggest I keep an eye on, drop me a line through the contact form. 

Today I am featuring: HCR1, SB12, SB46, SB50, SB61, SB78, SB87, SB94, and SB96

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Beyond the 47-percent-esque Comment: What it felt like at David Vitter’s town hall.

Recently I went to a David Vitter town hall meeting on a personal mission to video the whole thing. You never know when a politician is going to say something crazy or terrible so it seems like that is a good thing to do. And sure enough Vitter said something terrible. Plus, best I could tell, I was the only non staff member videoing when he did.

He said that people who support the affordable care act,”the other side” in his words, are people who “get something for nothing.” It was eerily reminiscent of the 47% comment from Romney and I wasn’t the only one who reached that conclusion. Mother Jones decided to run the video I shot of it. 

While I think that is certainly the most newsworthy minute of the town hall, the whole thing was a surreal experience and you can watch the whole video if you are interested.

(Because of limited technical resources, I used ustream to shoot the video- archiving every few minutes during pauses or applause so as to make sure I didn’t lose much video if my phone failed. As a result there are some weird cuts in the video with roughly 3-5 seconds gone at each one. There is also three minutes missing where my phone did freak out. Luckily the method I was using meant that I only lost that 3 minutes)

If I was to sum of how the room felt, I think I would say that it was a bit like being stuck inside Rush Limbaugh’s brain.

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Some Bills Related to Guns the Louisiana State Legislature Passed- And One They Didn’t

I decided to go through the list of Acts passed by the state legislature and pull out the gun ones and do a quick summary. Since the focus of some state legislatures around the country this year was to take common sense measures to limit high capacity magazines and expand background checks and the focus of other state legislatures was to nullify federal gun laws, I thought it would be worth shining a light on what Louisiana actually passed. (We weren’t without nullification law efforts but they were unsuccessful)

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Today in Anti-Choice Legislation- Banning Things that aren’t Currently Happening!

Senate Bill 90 in the 2013 Louisiana State Legislative session is to ban tele-medicine for abortion in Louisiana. In some places with limited access to abortion care, women use skype with doctors to arrange and have very early pill based abortions. Basically since it is just taking a pill to induce a miscarriage, there is not always a need for a doctor to be physically present.

There aren’t currently any of these happening in Louisiana, but evidently some of our state reps feel that they need to be preemptively banned. Now it isn’t unusual for states to look into banning things that don’t happen like a proposed ban sex-selective abortions which just aren’t realistically happening in the US (and which could lead to women being falsely accused by family members of making a sex-selective choice just to prevent the termination). This is unique because unlike sex-selective abortions which aren’t and won’t happen, tele-medicine abortions while not currently happening in the state are a realistic possibility. And possible a necessary one for some women if other anti-choice efforts are successful.

Anti-choice efforts shut down clinics using laws designed to technicality clinics out of existence and often violent anti-choice activists scare doctors out of practicing. This leaves vast areas without providers and women without options. The tele-medicine concept can help with this so of course there is an anti-choice effort to ban it before it can even start to happen.

So the goal becomes : Hey women- you live in an area without access to a clinic because we got rid of it-  well don’t try to get care from a doctor over skype, we banned that too! Good luck with that baby that we provide virtually no social safety net to help with!

 

Louisiana Tobacco Tax – 2013 Bills Proposed (Updated w/ Jindal statement)

In odd numbered years, the Louisiana legislature addresses tax matters. This year there are several bills (and one constitutional amendment)  to increase taxes on tobacco.

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House Ways and Means Meeting Results:

The bills to kill income tax without revenue replacement are dead. 

I am sure they will come back to haunt us again in 2015 (taxes are an odd years only matter), but for the moment the state is only going to be dealing with our current cuts to health care and education and not extremely amplified ones. 

Louisiana State Senate 2013 Session- SCR 11-16

I have more summaries of the Senate Concurrent Resolutions for the 2013 Session of the Louisiana Legislature.

This covers Senate Concurrent Resolutions 11-16. (As of my writing this 16 is the last one up on the site)

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Jindal’s Tax Swap is Dead- Bad Tax Policy Lives On

On April 8th, before a joint session of the state legislature, Jindal acknowledged the death of his plan to eliminate state income and corporate taxes and replace them with higher state sales taxes which taxes a broad range of services not currently subject to sales tax. He said that he wasn’t taking his ball and going home, which to be honest, sounds exactly like what someone who was about to pout like mad would say.

However, the bad tax policy in Louisiana didn’t die alongside Jindal’s tax plan (and presidential ambitions). Rather the bad policy persists through a number of bills to eliminate the state income tax with absolutely no revenue replacement. At least Jindal’s horrible plan pretended to be revenue neutral. The various bills that Jindal spoke with favorability about during his speech haven’t even put forth the effort to look like they won’t drastically cut state revenue.

What happens if one of these bills passes? Our already incredibly under-funded state becomes even more so. As a state, we are already facing cuts to education and drastic closures of state hospitals. The sorts of cuts we could face with that sort of revenue loss would make our state sink to the bottom of a multitude of lists of states on quality of life, health care, education, public services, services for the elderly and poor, roads, etc.

A friend pointed out that a bill like this passing could easily mean the death of the TOPS program (which provides scholarships to public universities in Louisiana to encourage our high school students both to go to college and to stay in state to do it- and which has benefited the states higher education rates) due to lack of funding.

I shudder to think of what other vitally important programs could face their end because of this bad tax policy and drastic revenue loss.